Change In Income And Financial Aid For College Expenses

In an attempt to allow time for tax forms to be completed and colleges to make solid financial aid offers, the application date for the FASFA was moved to October – fall of the senior year instead January. The tax returns now used for the FAFSA is almost a year old. A lot could have changed since the numbers were all verified. If that change wasn’t beneficial, you need to let the colleges know. It can make a significant difference in your financial aid offer.

Billy Vail has a number of very good suggestions for families that experience a change in income before and during the time a student is in college. After comparing your award letters, select the best choice. If your Expected Family Contribution and award letter look like they were meant for someone with triple your income, the colleges need to hear your “verifiable” reasons to adjust your aid upward.

All kinds of situations can affect a family’s ability to pay for college; requirements of other family members, medical expenses, loss of employment or even unexpected home repair. These things all fall under a “Special Circumstances Appeal”. Unfortunately, it will take effort on your part to secure this appeal form, complete it and get it to the financial aid department. Don’t give up if the form is not readily available. Use the search function on the financial aid page and/or call the financial aid department.

What you must know about submitting a successful appeal form is that you must “provide incontrovertible documentation about your circumstances”. Just telling the school about a tough time may solicit sympathy, but documentation will result in additional dollars. This is a business function of a department in a college. Behave in a professional manner with paperwork to back up your claims for the best path to success – and be persistent.

More details and examples are contained in the actual article. If you would like a copy, let me know and I will send it to you right away.

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